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Cotton Street

Cotton Street ran from the top of Miller Street to the Queens Links and was linked to Bannermill Street itself a Terrace looking over the the Railway marshalling yard.  Cotton Street inhabitants in the main in a long terrace that began at the end of Bannermill Street on the left going towards the beach and the inhabitants were generally employed at the Mills, Chemical Works, Fish Meal Fodder and the Gas Works all opposite their abodes and conveniently placed for dispersal of their noxious fumes in the Sea breezes.  The three tenements on the Right near Millers lane were blessed with a view of 4 Gasometers which must have been a worry during WWII.

Grain Mill, Cotton Street, A 4-storey, 7-bay, coursed-rubble block with a 3-storey extension and a pyramidal-roofed kiln projecting at the rear. The main block has a new asbestos roof.

In 1889, Aberdeen Town Council received the first applications by companies wishing to supply electricity . They decided to operate their own system, which was inaugurated in 1894 at Cotton Street. The rapid increase in demand led to the purchase of a new site in 1901 and Aberdeen Electricity Works at Millburn Street were built. In 1895 nearly 160,000 units were generated, rising to 5.5 million by 1907. A Cable Subway running from the works in the line of Crown Street and Justice Mill Lane for 1500 yards. It was capable of accommodating all the feeder cables required for the northern and western districts of the city, and was believed to be the largest of its kind in the UK. When the Electricity Act of 1947 came into force on 1st April 1948, generation of electricity transferred to the North of Scotland Hydro Board.

The railway line that crossed Miller Street and brought coal to the Gas Works - tenement terraces backed onto the industrial site which by the time this being dismantled

Aberdeen's gas industry dates back to 1824 when the first works were set up at Poynernook. A public supply came in 1824 when, using oil as energy source, the Aberdeen Gas Light Company produced gas to light 242 street lamps. A New Gas Light Company was set up in 1843. Its gasworks were established at Sandilands near the Beach. In 1871 Aberdeen Corporation took over the works and ran it until nationalisation in 1949. Final closure of the city's gasworks came in 1979 when the flow of Natural Gas from the offshore fields became available. 

Rear of the tenements in Cotton St taken from the site of the boulevard showing the older Gas Works on the left and some tenements already demolished.

During the war there was a temporary water reservoir erected in the left for the fire brigade to protect the properties in the event of conflagration from the Gas Storage Tanks.

The textile industries were a major employer at this period. Wilson (1857) noted that the linen and flax industry employed some 8,000 people, the woollen industry some 2-2,500 and the cotton industry around 2,000 workers. Banner Mill was regarded as one of the best cotton mills in the country at the time

Wilson, Rev. John Marius (ed.), 1857. The Imperial Gazetteer of Scotland or Dictionary of Scottish Topography (Edinburgh: A. Fullarton & Co.)

Aberdeen Monument for Bermuda - Messrs Simpson Brothers, granite merchants, Cotton Street, Aberdeen, have just completed a beautiful monument to be erected at Bermuda "in memory of the non-commissioned officers and men of the 1st Battalion the Leicestershire Regiment who died of enteric fever and from other causes while stationed at Bermuda during the years 1888-89-90." The monument, which is of granite from the Dyce Quarries, stands 16 feet high, and has an imposing appearance. There are three bases. The lowest, which is 4 feet square, is of axed granite, and the others are polished. Above these is the pedestal with a handsomely-moulded cornice, and set off by a finely-polished pillar at each of the four corners. On the front slab is the inscription already quoted, and on the other sides are the names of the soldiers including 1 quartermaster, 3 sergeants, and 26 privates. An octagonal obelisk rests on the die. It is surmounted by a carved finial, and, like the other parts of the monument, is polished. The stone is of particularly fine character, and it has been worked and finished in a manner which reflects the highest credit on the firm. The monument will be shipped for London next week. - Aberdeen Journal 1891

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Last modified: 01/09/2013